The Current State of Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain
NORCAL Group claims involving opioid therapy in chronic pain management patients generally involve overdose deaths. Allegations supporting negligence claims against physicians include: excessive opioid prescribing; failure to refer the patient for pain management, addiction, and/or behavioral health treatment; failure to discover the patient was doctor shopping; failure to recognize suicide risk; and negligent tapering. This article uses NORCAL Group closed claims, policyholder inquiries, and a recent medical board action to support pain treatment plans that optimize function, quality of life, and productivity while minimizing risks for opioid misuse and harm.
CASE ONE Prescribing Opioids to a Patient with Opioid Use Disorder
CASE TWO Prescribing Opioids for Pain vs. Treating the Underlying Causes of Pain
CASE THREE Chronic Pain and Suicide
CASE FOUR Opioid Tapering Prompted by Misunderstood Guidelines